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New Year's Eve Bash (cont.) 



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“Iced champagne was served, and the feel of the cold wine in her
mouth gave Emma a shiver that ran over her from head to toe.”

~ Gustave Flaubert, ‘Madame Bovary’


New Year's Eve Bash (cont.)


As stated in 'The Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook'
(Julee Rosso, Sheila Lukins with Sarah Leah Chase,
1985, Workman Publishing),


“ New Year’s Eve is a last chance to be decadent and outrageous
before the moral resolves of the New Year hold sway.”

Amen. In that spirit, we have assembled an appropriately decadent,
totally outrageous menu for your New Year’s Eve bash...  Enjoy!


Broiled Oysters with Arugula Purée
and Champagne Sabayon

Potted Shrimp 

Blanc de Foie Gras aux Huitres 

Potted Ham with Spices and Port 
Filet, Filet, Filet 
François Payard's Opera Cake 
Gigi's Profiteroles au Chocolat


Opera Cake

Simply Sensational Desserts:
140 Classics for the Home Baker from
New York's Famous Patisserie and Bistro
by François Payard with Tim Moriarty and Tish Boyle,
1999, Broadway Books/Random House


“This classic French cake was developed by the famous pâtissier Gaston
Lenôtre, but the recipe has been abused over the years. In a true Opera
Cake, you should never see the layers of the yellow sponge. The coffee
syrup should disguise it. So don’t be afraid to drench the cake with plenty
of syrup. It boosts the flavor and adds moisture.
This cake is for New Year’s Eve; we decorate it with a calendar made
from piped white and dark chocolates…”

Makes 24 servings

Special equipment:
Three 10 x 15-inch jelly-roll pans;
9 x 14-inch cardboard cake board

8 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
4 large egg yolks, at room temperature
2 1/3 cups (466 grams) sugar
Pinch of salt
Scant 2 cups (280 grams) all-purpose
flour, sifted
2/3 cup (129 grams) clarified butter
(see below), melted

Coffee Syrup
1 tablespoon (2 grams) instant espresso
powder or instant coffee granules
1 cup (200 grams) sugar

1 pound (454 grams) bittersweet chocolate,
finely chopped
2 cups (464 grams) heavy cream

3 cups (600 grams) Mocha Buttercream (recipe follows)

Clarified Butter:  Clarifying butter is a process of removing the milk solids
from butter. Clarified butter has a much higher smoking point than regular
butter (it is the milk solids that burn during sautéing). To finish with the
amount of clarified butter you need, start with about 33 percent more
unsalted butter than that amount. (For example, if you want six table-
spoons of clarified butter, start with eight tablespoons of butter.)

Have a fine-mesh sieve ready, or line a coarser sieve with a layer of cheesecloth. Cut the butter into tablespoons and melt in a heavy sauce-
pan over medium heat; do not stir. Continue to cook until the solids
drop to the bottom of the pan and begin to turn brown. When the bub-
bling subsides, strain the butter through the sieve. Clarified butter will
keep for months in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

1. Make the cake:  Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Arrange two
baking racks near the center of the oven. Lightly butter the bottoms
and sides of three 10 x 15-inch jelly-roll pans and line the bottoms of
the pans with parchment paper. Dust the sides of the pans with flour
and tap out the excess.
2. In an electric mixer, using the whisk attachment, beat the 12 egg
yolks and sugar at medium speed until combined. Increase the speed
to high and beat until thickened and pale, about 3 minutes. Transfer
to a large bowl.
3. In a clean dry mixer bowl, using the clean dry whisk attachment,
beat the egg whites and salt on low speed until foamy. Gradually
increase the speed to high, beating just until the whites form soft
peaks when the whisk is lifted. Fold the whites into the yolks in
three additions, alternating them with the flour in three additions.
4. Put the clarified butter in a medium bowl. Stir a large scoop of the
batter into the butter until combined. Gently fold this mixture into
the remaining batter. Scrape the batter into the prepared pans,
dividing it evenly, and, using a spatula, quickly spread the batter
into an even layer.
5. Place one cake in the upper rack and two on the lower rack. Bake
the cake layers for 10 to 12 minutes, until the edges pull away from
the sides of the pan and the tops spring back when lightly touched.
(The cake on the upper rack may be done before the cakes on the
lower rack – watch carefully.) Invert the layers onto wire racks,
peel off the parchment paper, and cool completely.
6. Make the coffee syrup:  Dissolve the espresso powder in 2 tea-
spoons (10 grams) water. Combine the sugar and 3/4 cup (177
grams) water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-
high heat, stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove
the pan from the heat and stir in the coffee. Let cool completely.
7. Make the ganache:  Put the chocolate in a large bowl  Bring the
cream to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Pour
the hot cream over the chocolate and whisk until the chocolate is
completely melted and the ganache is smooth. Transfer half of the
ganache to a medium bowl. Place the bowl in the refrigerator and
chill, stirring occasionally, until it is spreadable, about 1 1/2 hours
(this is the filling). Reserve the other half of the ganache at room
temperature (this will be used to glaze the cake).
8. Assemble the cake:  Place on of the cake layers on a 9 x 14-inch cardboard cake rectangle and set it on an inverted baking sheet. Brush
the cake generously with the coffee syrup. Scrape the chilled ganache
filling onto the cake and spread it into a thin even layer with an offset
spatula. Place a second layer over the ganache layer. Brush generously
with coffee syrup. Scrape half of the mocha buttercream onto the cake
layer and spread it into a thin even layer with the offset spatula.
Refrigerate the cake for 20 minutes.
9. Place the third cake layer over the buttercream layer, right side up.
Brush generously with the coffee syrup. Scrape the remaining mocha
buttercream onto the top of the cake and spread it into a thin even
layer. Freeze the cake for 20 minutes.
10. Fill a medium saucepan one-third full with water and bring to a
simmer. Set the bowl of ganache over the water and stir just until it
is warm. Remove the cake from the freezer and place it on a wire
cooling rack set over a baking sheet. Pour the warm glaze over the
cake, smoothing the top with an offset spatula. Let the glaze set for
10 minutes.
11. Using a long serrated knife, trim about 1/4 inch off the sides of the
cake so that you can see the layers. Cut the cake into 3 x 1 1/2-inch
rectangles with a hot dry knife (dip the knife in hot water and wipe
clean between cuts). The cake may be made up to 1 day in advance
and stored in the refrigerator. Let it come to room temperature
before serving.

Mocha Buttercream

5 large eggs
2 cups (400 grams) sugar
1 1/4 pounds (5 sticks) (567 grams)
unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon (4 grams) pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons (4 grams) instant espresso
powder or instant coffee

1. In the large bowl of an electric mixer using the whisk attachment,
begin beating the eggs on medium speed.
2. Meanwhile, combine the sugar and 1/3 cup (78 grams) water in a
medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring
to dissolve the sugar. Insert a candy thermometer into the pan and
cook until the syrup reaches 243 degrees F. With the mixer running,
immediately pour the hot syrup down the side of the bowl into the
eggs (avoid pouring the hot syrup onto the whisk, or it will splatter).
Increase the speed to medium-high and continue beating until the
eggs are cool and have doubled in volume, about 7 minutes.
3. Beat in the softened butter 1 tablespoon at a time (see Note). Increase
the speed to high and beat until the buttercream is shiny and smooth,
about 2 minutes. Beat in the vanilla extract.
4. Dissolve the instant espresso or coffee in 1 tablespoon (15 grams) hot water. Beat into the finished buttercream. The buttercream can be used
right away or placed in an airtight container and refrigerated. Bring to
room temperature and beat with a whisk until smooth before using.

Note: Buttercream sometimes has a tendency to curdle. Here is a trick you
can use to rescue it if the buttercream mixture should appear separated at
any point while you are adding the butter. Stop beating the buttercream
and heat 2 tablespoons (29 grams) of heavy cream in a small saucepan.
Whisk the hot cream into the buttercream to bring it together, then
continue adding the butter.


Gigi's Profiteroles au Chocolat
(Cream Puffs)

1/2 cup boiling water
1/4 cup butter
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sifted all-purpose flour
2 eggs
Crème Pâtissière (recipe follows)
Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce (recipe follows)

Start heating oven to 375 degrees F. Bring water, butter and salt to
a boil. Add flour all at once. Then beat over low heat until mixture
leaves sides of pan and forms a compact ball.
Remove from heat and continue beating to cool slightly.
Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. After the
last egg has been added, beat until mixture has a satin-like sheen.
Onto a greased baking sheet, drop mixture in walnut-size balls. Bake
until golden and puffy, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven. Cut
a slit in the side of each puff. Bake 5 to 10 minutes more. Cool and
fill with Crème Pâtissière. Glaze with Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce.

Crème Pâtissière

2 cups milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3  cup all-purpose flour
1/8  teaspoon salt
5 egg yolks, beaten
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In a double boiler, over hot, not simmering, water, heat the milk.
Combine sugar, flour and salt.  Add mixture to egg yolks; beat until
combined well.
Stir some of the hot milk mixture into eggs, mixing well. Stir egg
mixture into remaining milk mixture in double boiler.
Cook over hot
water, stirring constantly, about 15 minutes, until mixture is thickened
and coats a spoon.  Remove from heat.
Add vanilla extract and cover
surface of crème with waxed paper.  Refrigerate overnight.

Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce

6 ounces best-quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons Kahlúa or other coffee liqueur, or to taste

In a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water melt the chocolate with the water and cream, stirring until the mixture is smooth,
and stir in the Kahlúa. The sauce may be made 1 week in advance, kept covered and chilled, and reheated.  Makes about 1 cup sauce.

New Year's Eve Bash, Page 1

Featured Archive Recipes:
François Payard's Chocolate Mousse
with Flambéed Bananas

Chocolate Cream Puffs with Spun Sugar
Chocolate Grand Marnier Éclairs
Julia Child and Norman Love on Pâte à Choux 

For more yummy Holiday treats, visit

Holiday Central!
New Year's Celebration
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